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GNW tight, Steve Madden Mary Janes, GAP jumper dress, Vittori blazer, floral print silk scarf

There is the discussion that senior women shouldn’t wear black. It would enhance the wrinkles. People say that blondes look great in black. Black is a classic. Now what? To wear or not to wear black? This post empowers you to look beautiful at any age in your beloved black clothing.

Contents
  1. In the 1960s Black Was Not for (Little) Girls
  2. Listen to Whether the compliment Is on the Clothes or You
  3. Why Black Can Easily Become a Camouflage in Midlife
  4. Black OOTD with Pop of Color
  5. You Can’t Go Wrong with A Little Black Dress
  6. Black Sheaths Are Cameleons in the Closet
  7. Dress Down a LBD with a Denim Shirt

In the 1960s Black Was Not for (Little) Girls

When I was a child and I was asked for my favorite color my answer was black. The adults never liked this answer and some of them even said that black is not a color. It could not be that a little girl loves black. They said things like why not yellow that looks great with your black hair, or red is a color for girls. Well my answer on the yellow was that my hair is brown, not black, and black and brown look great together.

I still do not understand why the Germans would call my ash brown hair black. On the red color, little Nicole responded that there are nice and ugly reds, but there is just beautiful black. It is safer than red. What I meant with this statement was that I liked and still like every cold red, but not every warm red. Unfortunately, for my mother red was red. Probably because she had worked in business administration she seemed to favor muted colors. This means she bought the “ugly” red.

When in doubt wear black. #styleadvice Click To Tweet

Listen to Whether the Compliment Is on the Clothes or You

One day she knitted skirt suits for my sister and me. My sister got the nice black one because it looks so great with her blonde hair, while I got the red one, which of cause had the “ugly” red. The black washed my sister out, the warm, muted red made me look sick. Note that my mother is color blind so she may see colors in a totally different way. I assume that we looked great in her eyes in our skirt suits. We got a lot of compliments on them. Today I understand that it was because she did a really excellent job crafting them. It was not because the suit skirts made us look great.

mature woman in work outfit with leather pants

senior in Burberry trench coat and leather pants
Burberry trench coat, Vittari wool blazer with Oliveo button down shirt, London Jeans leather pants, statement necklace, 3.1 Philip Lim bag, statement smoky quartz belt, and Ralph Lauren silver pumps (all own)

 

In the last century, black was for widows to be worn in the year after their husbands passed away. It was the color of adult Protestants going to church. Kids would only wear it as Sunday’s Best when they were very light blond (like my sister), almost platin blond. Thus, I wasn’t eligible for black. Learn more on the history of wearing black.

Why Black Can Easily Become a Camouflage in Midlife

Just look around at what 40+ women wear a military ball. Most of them wear a black, classic gown. Many of them make this color choice to look leaner than they are. Since the majority applies this dressing trick, they seem to look all the same. Another example is the metro, tram, bus, airport, you name it. It’s a sea of black coats when you just look at mature women. Sure it’s a posh evergreen choice. And yes, many feel comfortable to blend in rather than stand out.

Wear the color intentionally, not to to hide.

Black OOTD with Pop of Color

I still love black. Ever since I lived in New York State, I love all black with a touch of another color. A monochrome outfit can become pretty boring when there is no interest added by texture. Learn more on creating interesting monochromatic looks.

The above outfit features black leather pants (smooth, a little bit of shine), black corduroy shirt (texture, no shine), and black wool blazer (no texture, no shine). The silver pumps that have a fin imprint like the scales of a fish. They reflect the light and have texture.

Silver together with black is a statement. Gold with black is a classic.

When styling a monochromatic outfit without texture the idea is to create an all neutral look with a pop of color for interest. Which midlife woman wants to be invisible? Not you! 😉

For a styling lesson on non-boring all neutral looks see the post at the link.

You Can’t Go Wrong with A Little Black Dress

… is what Mademoiselle aka Gabrielle Chanel reportedly said. More on Coco Chanel at the link. A LBD dress is very versatile for many dressing situations. It can be styled for the office, a party, running errands, going out for dinner and even for browsing the beach stores on vacation.

Every woman owes herself to own a LBD.

#styleover40 woman covered perfectly for the office
Boat-neck dress c/o Covered Perfectly styled for the office with own leopard scarf, BCBG belt, and Valentino studded boots

 

#fashionover40 woman wearing a Covered Perfectly dress vacation style

over 50 years old stylist in weekend outfit
Outfit details: Ray Ban purple mirrored sunglasses, Great Northwest denim shirt tied around the waist, BP wedge espadrilles (all own) and leather pearl necklace c/o Wendy Mignot, Boat Neck black dress c/o Covered Perfectly knotted at the hem to show off some leg. Styled for a vacation or summer weekend look or visit at the farmers’ market

 

On my 5 ft 4 (1.63 m) frame, the dress hits below the knee (see last two photos in this post). The cut permits adjusting the length with a belt to around or just above the knee. Since the fabric is thin enough to not bulk, you can belt the LBD to the length of the sweet point of your legs (see work outfits in this post). When you have got great legs, you may knot the hem to show them off when walking along the beach on vacation (see photo above). However, when your knees are on the wide side, the dress will cover them perfectly. Adding accessories on your upper body draws the eyes up.

#maturefashion woman in work outfit CoveredPerfectly
Front view of black dress c/o Covered Perfectly styled for a winter work outfit with own leopard print scarf, BCBG belt, GNW tights, and Valentino boots

 

#over40style mature woman in party look
Boat neck dress c/o Covered Perfectly styled for a party with own mesh dress and pumps

 

The outfit photos below show how to style a black T-shirt dress for the office. Since this version of a LBD is on the casual side, it’s best to go with pumps and a more expensive belt. Recall

Pair inexpensive with expensive items. So chic. #agelessstyle #styletrick Click To Tweet

mature style woman in LBD styled as work outfit

over 50 years old blogger in T-shirt dress with green

 

over 50 year old in LBD and scarf
Outfit details: Gucci bag, Hermes collier de chien belt, Nine West pumps, jade nuggets earrings, Hermes Medor watch, Chico’s best girlfriends bracelet, Uno Alla Volta artisan made scarf, and Covered Perfectly little black dress

 

When you like any of these outfit ideas, please pin them to your pinterest board so your friends and family can see them too.

A LBD is always appropriate. #quote Click To Tweet

Black Sheaths Are Cameleons in the Closet

No matter what color, jumpers are a great investment. They add so much possibilities to a wardrobe. You can even wear a sheath as skirt, or as a downscaled dress suit vibe by wearing a sheath with a cardigan. Sheath dresses are sort of chameleons, especially when they have a classic cut in a neutral color or black.  They can go from a professional outfit in a corporate style like shown above to dinner when paired with some bling.

 

stylist in jumper with polka dot blouse, stripped scarf
Gap sheath worn over a Jones New York polka dot shirt with GNW tights and Harley Davidson booties accessorized with a scarf tied as a bow (all own)

 

Next an example look with a wool sheath dress, wool blazer, tights and Mary Janes, of course, all in black. The black printed silk scarf “pop of color” with its classical gold bows and red roses print. This dress with blazer combination makes a chic business casual work outfit at any age.

over 50 years old blogger in blazer, shorts, tights, Mary Janes
Outfit details: GNW tight, Steve Madden Mary Janes, strings of pearls, Gap sheath dress, Vittori blazer, floral print silk scarf

Dress Down a LBD with a Denim Shirt

Underneath I wore my LBD with a denim shirt with rolled up sleeve – recall it is spring – and my polka dot tights and blue patent leather L.K. Bennett pumps. Black sheaths are really versatile. The brooch shown below is a DIY. I made it in graduate school in a recreational silver smiting class.

 

jumper and denim shirt work outfit

influencer presenting a LBD outfit for work
GAP jumper over dark Oliveo denim shirt, unbranded blue polka dot tights, Tissot watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, D&GM sunglasses, and L.K. Bennett patent leather pumps (all own)

 

What is your favorite color? Has it changed since your childhood? If so, why did it change? What is your greatest challenge wearing black?

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Photos: G. Kramm

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